Tag Archives: Berlin

The Garden of Exile

Friday 24th August 2018, 11.50am (day 2,556)

Garden of Exile, 24/8/18

The building which houses the Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the most brilliant pieces of architecture I have ever experienced. Even if it were empty of exhibits — and at the moment, due to a renovation, it nearly is — it would make you think. There are these great vertical voids throughout the building, including the ‘Holocaust Tower’, a vast blank space illuminated only by a sliver of light coming in through the top. Another is covered with these metal sculpted faces, representing the innocent dead, that you must walk across in order to traverse the space. Then there is this garden, the ‘Garden of Exile’ — its plants placed high up on these stone pillars. Walking around it, other people appear and disappear randomly from view. This is architecture of genius, and well worth visiting. Though don’t expect to come out of it feeling any happier about the world — except, perhaps, that it has been built in Berlin. That fact alone gives me some hope.

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By the wall

Thursday 23rd August 2018, 12.20pm (day 2,555)

East Side Gallery, 23/9/18Some parts of the old Berlin Wall remain in the city. Probably they could have been demolished back in 1990 but the authorities realised — correctly — that they were valuable as memorials and/or tourist attractions. Or, as in the case of the East Side Gallery, which runs beside the Spree for about a kilometer near the Ostbahnhof, an art installation; this long line of concrete has been decorated by a range of murals, including this one of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, who seems to disdain the busker beside him, playing as he is on a load of old water pipes, or something.

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It’s the Wurst

Wednesday 22nd August 2018, 5.50pm (day 2,554)

Wurst stand, 22/8/18

The next burst of summer holiday is taking place in Berlin, where Clare and I travelled today. We didn’t arrive until late afternoon and I feel I managed to do little, photographically, with the various opportunities offered: a few stereotypical shots of the Brandenburg Gate, which everyone snaps (our hotel is only a few minutes’ walk away). But this sausage stand nearby did capture the attention. As anyone who’s been to Germany knows, if you want a roadside sausage, this is the world epicentre. And that German word always gives scope for some dreadful pun or other.

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